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The Los Angeles mayor says the city will move unhoused people indoors

New Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass speaks during her inaugural address, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022.
Damian Dovarganes
/
AP
New Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass speaks during her inaugural address, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said she will be moving unhoused people into hotels and motels while the city builds more affordable housing, she said in an interview Sunday.

The initiative, called Inside Safe, is expected to launch Tuesday, eight days after Bass was sworn in and declared homelessness a state of emergency.

"Well, you know, what we have found in the community organizations that we're bringing in to do this work is that you can get 95% of the people housed," she said on NBC's Meet the Press. "People will go. It takes a while. You have to do outreach."

Bass said the initiative would not involve clearing out encampments where unhoused people gather, and said that in four years, a metric of the city's success in tackling homelessness would be if there are little to no encampments left.

"And there should not be 40,000 people who are unhoused, that's for sure," she said.

Homelessness has risen in the Los Angeles area since the pandemic. The county released a 2022 report in September, after not doing so in 2021. The count reached 41,980 people in Los Angeles City, up 1.7% since 2020. The total population in Los Angeles is about 3.8 million.

Additionally, Bass announced an executive order Friday that mandates the city to review applications for affordable housing projects within 60 days. Once construction begins, the city has five days to grant a permit and a certificate of occupancy; the city has two days to complete the process for short-term housing projects.

Following the order, 31 affordable housing projects are expected to be "immediately expedited," according to a statement from Bass's office.

"This is a dramatic reduction in red tape and acceleration of the construction timeline that will move people inside faster and save precious dollars that can be invested in more housing and more solutions for L.A.'s homelessness crisis," she said.

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Ayana Archie